Sunday, July 29, 2007
For the third day in a row in the late afternoon/early evening Scott got a distress call from the hospital. He had told Jonah a couple of weeks ago that he wanted to start assisting him occasionally in surgery, most particularly C sections . . . But wasn’t expecting so much practice so quickly! Yesterday’s involved a mother with twins, and one twin’s heart beat could not be found on the portable ultrasound, while the other’s was showing signs of impending distress. They contacted Jonah but he was a few miles away working at his home property, where he maintains some garden and animal husbandry projects. He promised to come but asked Scott to get started, confident that since this was the 5th operation in 6 or 7 days Scott was ready. Scott was not so sure, but clearly he sensed the tragedy of losing both babies, so agreed to begin. By the time Jonah made it the surgery was well under way, so he observed and advised from the sideline. Amazingly both babies were delivered alive, though only barely, but responded well to resuscitation and are looking great this morning. Twins are extremely common here, they are called “balongo”. After the newspaper article I wrote about yesterday, the opportunity to offer prompt emergency care and save potentially three lives (mother and two babies) made the weariness and inconvenience of a Saturday evening interruption more palatable.
Besides the obvious advantage of averting death . . These hours in surgery have been an unexpected way to deepen our partnership with Jonah, and reverse our roles. A decade ago he was the medical assistant learning from us as doctors. A few years ago he was the student we supported. Now he is in charge of the hospital and refreshing rusty surgical skills as he teaches and supports us. That’s the way it should be, and we’re thankful, but tired.